A joint study by the University of Western Australia and the University of Zurich recently published a new study about male primates in the journal Royal Society B.

They found out that male primates with smaller genitalia usually compensate by resorting to violence or “badges of stratus.”

Those badges include “flashy” physical trains like “the red chest patches of geladas, hair capes of hamadryas baboons and enlarged noses of proboscis monkeys,” according to researchers. To compete for the female primates, they also believe larger teeth are advantageous in combat and their beards as sexual ornaments may attract mates.

“Primate secondary sexual ornaments thereby appear to be under sexual selection as signals that indicate aggressiveness and dominance to other males to settle male-male competition over mating rights without physical conflict,” the study added.

Researchers observed and collected data on 103 primate species, focusing on the “presence/absence of female monopolization” and the factors leading to earning the attention of the female primates.

“Next to simply fighting, they can produce so-called ‘badges of status’; showy ornaments that help their bearers control access to females by intimidating other males,” Dr. Cyril Grueter, UWA researcher and co-author of the study, told Phys.org. “This finding clearly shows that you can be well-adorned or well-endowed, but it’s hard to be both.”

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